Your questions


Have a question? Please ask it at the bottom of this page and I’ll do my best to answer. Then I’ll add it to the others.
Thank you!

Q: Hi! I tried to find El Hoyo on Google Earth but the only one that came up is a village near Madrid. Is that it?
No. I made up a name for the village to protect the villagers’ privacy. The real village is in the Almería region, in the mountains.

Q: Hi Vicky, I’ve just finished One Young Fool, and I know you started writing when you were very young, but WHY do you write?
I think it’s an addiction, haha! Whenever I finish a book, I’m exhausted and I say to Joe, “Never again. That’s the last.” But I’m soon ready to start again. I can’t take life very seriously, and when I see people smiling, or better still, laughing out loud as they read my stuff, that absolutely floats my boat.

Q: A friend of mine recommended your book Chickens, and I loved it.  I laughed all the way through, even more at the end than at the beginning! Did they really call you ‘Schindler’ at work because you’re always writing lists?
Yes. I’m afraid so.

Q: Did you really knock over the village fountain?
Yes. Unfortunately.

Q: Hi there! Your characters are a hoot! Do they know you’ve written about them?
Some do, others don’t. Nobody in the village speaks English so I’ve never mentioned the books. As far as I know, they don’t know I’ve written about them, but of course my friends and family are fully aware.

Q: What did your sister and her husband say when they read about themselves in the book?
Ah, the Eco-Warriors… I have to admit, I was a bit nervous about showing them those chapters… But they were fine about it. They said in real life they’re much worse than I’d described, so that was okay…phew!

Q: Hello Vicky, how difficult did you find it settling into such a small Spanish village? You didn’t speak any Spanish, did you?
Hello there, not difficult at all, everyone made us so welcome. But we had to get by in Spanish very quickly or life would have been much harder.

Q: What was most different from life in England?
Gosh, where do I start? Little children playing outside at 2 or 3 in the morning. Shops all closing at 2 in the afternoon. Crocuses flowering in November. The Fiestas – which are totally crazy! The lovely Spanish attitude towards the elderly and families. I could go on and on…

Q: Hi Beaky! I have to ask about the chickens. I can’t use the words here, but were those REALLY their names? If so, why?
Sadly, those were their real names, yes. I blame Joe. They were black chickens, very curious – much more so than their brown and white sisters. They were always investigating our shoelaces, (probably thought they were worms) so Joe kept tripping over them. Hence the names. Not intentional, but they kind of stuck.

Q: Hi Victoria, I’ve always kept chickens and I fully understand why you had to part with Cocky. Was he as bad as you described?
He was much, much worse. He was the most ferocious little creature I have ever come across, except perhaps for Tasmanian Devils which have pretty bad reputations. We really missed him though.

Q:  Those little matchstick-men you use as scene breaks. What are they?
Ah, the Indalo, the Rainbow Man. That’s the emblem for the region, you’ll see it everywhere in the Almería region; as statues on roundabouts, on car bumpers, on tourist souvenirs and in people’s houses. indaloAs I explain in the book, if you buy one and give it to someone else – it’s supposed to bring them luck. But if you buy one for yourself, that’s VERY bad luck. I’m not superstitious, or I wasn’t until I came across the Rainbow Man. You read in the book what happened to us when I bought one for myself! I won’t be doing that again in a hurry!

Q: Hi, I love your recipes. Where did they come from?
A variety of places, mostly the village ladies. Many came from Gayle at Orce Serrano Hams. They are superb cooks and test-drive each recipe before they are posted on their blog. Other recipes came from characters in the book, and in Two Old Fools on a Camel, Nadia Sawalha donated a lot.

Q: I tried the Crispy Potatoes – Patatas Bravas recipe. Have to say, it was delicious and I’ve added it to my own recipe collection.
Good, we like that one, too. I just love the whole Spanish Tapas idea. Little bits of this and that – yum!

Q: Have you ever regretted moving to Spain?
Never. Not for a moment.

Q: Do you have plans for any more books in the future?
Oh yes! The Old Fools series hasn’t finished yet.  Every day I gather more material, and I jot things down. Joe’s book, One Young Fool in South Africa is now finished *pinches herself – I never thought he’d get it finished!* and Two Old Fools in Turmoil is in the pipeline. Also, the Sixpenny Cross series keeps growing.

Q: Hi Victoria, I’ve just discovered that you’ve written another series, apart from the Old Fools. Is the Sixpenny Cross series based on where you grew up as a child?
Hi! Sixpenny Cross is a fictional village in Dorset, but many of the characters are inspired by people I have met during my life. The name of the village was inspired by the name Sixpenny Handley. I was born and raised in Dorset and I adore those Dorset names, like Puddletown and the River Piddle!

67 Responses to Your questions

  • Hi Victoria I don’t havnt recieved your monthly for quite some time. Would love to keep up to date with your antics in Australia. Can you check for me please. Thanks Vivien

    • Hi Vivien! I haven’t sent a newsletter out for a couple of months, so you haven’t missed any. I’ve checked, and you are still on the mailing list, thank you for asking. 🙂

  • Ok, loving this new website and all the fun insights. Can’t wait for the B book.

  • Victoria,

    I have bought and thoroughly enjoyed every book in the “Old Fools” but am so disappointed that I cannot get the Spanish Recipe book or your latest stories in proper book form. I prefer to have a sheet of paper to all this kindle,malarchy. sorry call me old fashioned if you must but I’m sure I’m not the only non-technophobe.

    • Hello Lorraine, everything I have written is in ebook form and also in paperback,


      for the recipe book… We decided against offering it in print because of the many full colour photographs which would have made the book crazily expensive. I do have the recipe book as a PDF which I’ll happily send you, if you like? Then you can print off any recipes you fancy. 🙂 Let me know if that’d be helpful 🙂

  • Hi Vicky, I’ve just finished reading your books for the second time. When will Two Old Fools in Tutmoil be out?

  • Hi Vicky,

    Is the ordinary Sussex town (where you move from to Spain) real place? Or it was made up location for pivacy reasons? Can’t wait to read second book 🙂

  • HI Vick and Joe
    We have not read book in ten years. (not for ourselves anway). I read these 4 book aloud and all of us enjoyed. BUT where at a loss when Felix passed . Did you leave Spain for good, do we find out in the other books.

    • Hello Janet, thank you for getting in touch. The story continues, and all will be revealed in the next book, Two Old Fools in Turmoil. Unfortunately I’m a slow writer, but if you join me on Facebook, I try to keep people updated much more regularly there. Or subscribe to our newsletter which comes out every couple of months. 🙂

  • Dear Victoria,

    Just love your books. I also love your recipes for Spanish food. Try as I may, I cannot find your recipe for a Spanish stew with either some sausage or chorizo added. Could you please send me the recipe via email? Also don’t remember whether the main ingredient was meat or chicken.

    • Hello Sonia, was it this one?

      Chicken and Iberico Chorizo
      Pollo con chorizo Iberico
      Serves 4 to 6
      ~ 15 minutes preparation ~ ~ 1 hour 35 minutes cooking ~
      Gayle: Chicken and chorizo is a typically Spanish combination, and this recipe uses Iberico chorizo as a key ingredient in this Spanish casserole. The dish is cooked in a large terracotta cazuela (or casserole dish), combining tomatoes, plenty of garlic, peppers and herbs. There is also the addition of split marinated olives, providing an Andalucian flavour.
      Victoria: This is a warming dish at any time of the year, but especially good as a winter meal on a cold evening.
      1 large chicken, parted
      200g (7 oz) Iberico chorizo
      200g (7 oz) split olives
      1 red pepper, sliced
      500g (171⁄2 oz) tinned plum tomatoes 8 garlic cloves, crushed
      Teaspoon dried thyme
      12 black peppercorns, crushed
      Salt to season
      Equipment: 37cm (15 inch) terracotta cazuela or large casserole
      1) Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4.
      2) Part the chicken into thighs, drummers, wings and breasts. 3) Cut the breast in half and place into the cazuela.
      4) Drain the juice (from the tin of tomatoes) into the cazuela.
      5) Roughly chop the tomatoes (using a blunt/serrated knife, or squeeze with your hand).
      6) Remove the stones from the split olives. Tear the olives in half and add to the casserole.
      7) Add the rest of the ingredients to the cazuela and thoroughly hand-mix. Ensure all the chicken is covered.
      8) Season and cook in the oven for 1 hour 35 minutes.
      9) Serve, Spanish style, by placing the cazuela on the table centre, together with seasonal vegetables or mashed potatoes.

  • I’ve just started reading One Young Fool in South Africa and there is a mention of a Leslie and his brother Martin at Johannesburg Children’s Home. I’m pretty sure that is me and my brother.

  • Hi Vicky
    Over the last couple of days I have read and thoroughly enjoyed “A for Abigail” and “B for Bella”. I loved them both and the style in which they were written.
    Do you have an idea when the next one ( C for Captain) is coming out?

    • Hi Sandra – that’s very kind of you, I’m delighted you enjoyed Abigail and Bella. C is for the Captain is a work in progress. The story is there, but I’m concentrating on the next Old Fools book, (2 O F in Turmoil) first. I think it’ll be out in late 2017. 🙂

  • Just discovered Chickens, Mules and Two old fools and i had to get in touch to say what a wonderful book i read it in Two Days. Me and my Wife love Spain and you did what we would love to do …Very Brave…..Cant wait to get my hands on the next book.

    A big Thank you

  • Hi Vicky, sorry – it’s an IT problem here. I was receiving the email updates but nothng for months..and certianlly not the one last week. Have tried to re-subscribe..but it keeps telling me I am already subscribed..any thoughts? Apologies of ths is not the correct place to ask.

    • Hello Nell, I checked and it seems I have three Hirsts on my list. Would you mind sending me an email, ( and I’ll investigate further. *puts on Sherlock Holmes hat and finds magnifying glass* Thanks for letting me know, and here is a great place to do it! I imagine your spam filter has been over-enthusiastic and you may need to tell it I’m not a spammer. 🙂

  • Hi Vicky,
    I’ve overdosed on “Chickens” and all the other books over the last few days. Addictive and pure delight!
    I know exactly what you describe in such an entertaining way because I’ve lived it myself, thirty years in Spain starting in the mid 1960’s, it all rings very true.
    Just to clarify, for anyone who thinks you may be slightly exaggerating so as to “jazz it up” for the book, no, it is all very very true to Spanish everyday life.
    My story will remain untold but the next episode of yours is eagerly awaited.
    Thanks for a great read.

    • Hello Kathryn, sorry I’m so late responding, I’ve only just caught up with the latest comments. 🙁 Thanks for the very kind words, and I’m so pleased that you’ve enjoyed my scribbles, and even more pleased that they brought back good Spanish memories for you. Yes, living in a Spanish village is a crazy experience!
      Thank you for making contact, and the next book, “TOF in Turmoil”, is in the pipeline. 🙂

  • Hi , just finished the latest village instalment, loved it as much as all the other village books. My wife and I have visited and stayed in many of the Spanish white villages , one of our favourite ones being Torrox pueblo. So much of your books remind us of our own experiences, the characters, and the things that go on in village life. Please let us know when your next book is ready.
    Tony and Barbara

    • Thank you so much, Tony and Barbara! I love it when people can relate to my village stories, and I’m sure your Torrox and village experiences are just as colourful as mine. 🙂
      “Two Old Fools in Turmoil” is the next in the series, and will be launched later this year, thank you for asking. I’ll definitely be announcing it here on my website, on my Facebook pages and in the usual Old Fools’ Updates newsletter.

      • Thanks for that, looking forward to next instalment. Worried about Joe, hope everything goes ok.

  • Hello Flora, I’ve only just seen this message! Of course I’ll send you all my books and I hope they cheer you up. I’ll contact you via email.
    Victoria 🙂

    • Thank you so much. I can’t express how much this means to me. Thank you for being such a wonderful lady. I feel like I know you and Joe from reading your books.

  • Will Two old fools in turmoil, be released in print? Many Thanks

  • Hi Vicky, I read all your books (5) of Two Old Fools but I really would like to find out about Joe’s health and how you are doing in Australia. Will you have another book to follow “Two Old Fool’s In Turmoil?

    • Yes, Suzanne, there is another one planned. It will be called Two Old Fools Down Under. Not very original title, but apt, haha! Thank you for your interest. 🙂

    • Hello Victoria. I just read all of the “Two Fools” series on a flight to Japan and back. It is great to find a good story teller. I hope you and Joe are doing well. What ever happened to the gin twins?


      • Hello Julie, I hope the books entertained you on your flights, thanks for letting me know. We’re fine, thank you for asking. The Gin Twins? They are fine, too. They now explore different parts of Europe, wreaking havoc, I expect, and drinking copious amounts of gin and tonic. 🙂 They have an open invitation to visit Australia which I hope will happen someday. 🙂

  • Hi Victoria
    Recently finished reading 2 O F in Turmoil, (read all your other Old Fools books), and was looking forward to reading , ‘one young fool in SA’ in electronic format. I can download it from Amazon, but then I have to sign-up for Kindle Unlimited…..which I don’t want to do. Are there other options for electronic format please?

  • Hello Mrs Twead, Not a question; or is it, yeah, I’ll put it in question form. Why did you go and upset me at the end of your second book? I had tears in my eyes when you had to send your cute kitten to Germany. Just kidding. Getting your third book on my Kindle and looking forward to your fourth book I which I assume you will be back in Spain. I Still feel for you, I hate leaving my little Kern Terrier x Jack Russel for a month when I visit my son in Australia; Although I know she is in good care with the Mrs’s relatives she still misses us. great stories. I was going to sell up and move to Spain in 2001 after my wife died; but before I did it I met my partner and we bought a place here after selling both our houses as she wouldn’t go abroad. I am too old now (76) and I wouldn’t leave June, but your stories make me envious and I regret not moving sometimes.

    • Thanks, John! Home is where the heart is, I reckon, so I’m sure you would be happy anywhere. We’ve had three major moves and have had wonderful times in all the locations. 🙂

  • Please write the book D For … soon, can’t wait longer. Have bought all the other books, except recipe books, all ebooks. I am a fan of your writing.

  • Hello Vicky,
    I studied the map of Spain but cannot find the village of El Hoyo. Somewhere you mentioned that from the high ground you could see the sea. Can you tell me which coastal town, obviously on the Mediterranean coast, is closest to El Hoyo, e.g. Almeria, Malaga or else?
    PS: When we recently sailed from Tarragona to Las Palmas we sailed close to the Spanish coast and, probably, had a glimpse of El Hoyo far away 😉
    Thank you, looking forward to your new book!

    • Hello Reinhard,
      Thank you for your question! “El Hoyo” is a fictitious name for the village because we wanted to protect the privacy of the villagers. (As far as I know, they never knew that I wrote about the village.) If you look on Google Earth, you won’t find it. However, if you sailed close to the Spanish coast, you may well have glimpsed it high in the mountains, not far from Almeria.

  • Hi Victoria, I am so enjoying your adventures!!! Just finished Two Old Fools on a Camel and forgot to go to very end of book to look at photos. I have already deleted it from my amazon library. I thought I found photos from your books on a web site. If so, would you be kind enough to send me the link. Thanks. Debora

  • I can’t wait for Book 6 – when will it be available?

  • Just finished my 3rd book and look forward to hearing about your life in Australia. Reading the questions I now know why I couldn’t find an El Hoyo that fitted the descriptions! I am on holiday in Alfaix 10kms inland from Mojaar and was curious as to where it is.I loved your description of obsessing about your Fitbit watch. I am also pacing around to reach 10,000 steps but seeing all that effort disappear on the stroke of midnight.

  • I’m wondering what happened to the 27 apartment building being built across from your house. I was expecting it to alter the quiet community considerably, even if the apartments were only used for holidays. I’ve read all 5 of your Old Fool books, and feel so sorry for you having to move from your peaceful Spanish home. Now I will look forward to your new adventures in Australia. Best wishes to Joe.I hope his medical problems have imporoved.

    • Hello Annmargaret, the apartment building was finished at the time of the credit crisis, and although some apartments sold quickly, others took longer. It didn’t really change the nature of village life because the apartments were only occupied at weekends and holidays. Thank you for reading all the books and although we loved life in Spain, we also love this new, very different life we have adopted. We hope you enjoy Two Old Fools Down Under when it’s finished! Joe thanks you for your kind wishes. 🙂

  • My daughter introduced me to you and your books and am loving them!! On book 3 and just wanted to say if you’re ever in Boise ID visiting Colton we would LOVE to meet you. Thanks for the laughter and sharing your pictures on your website. Your descriptions in your books were spot on!! 💙💙

  • Hi Victoria

    Can you tell me when the printed edition of “……..Down Under” will be out in the UK and where I’ll be able to get it? I had thought of requesting it for a Christmas present. I have a Kindle but want a book!!

    As a previous teacher your experience teaching in Bahrain sounds an absolute nightmare, like the ones I still occasionally get when I have a class of kids in front of me but no books, writing materials, or anything else. Added to which they rampage! Thankfully I wake up from it and thank my lucky stars that it never ever happened.
    Many thanks.


    • Hello Angela, thanks so much for asking, Down Under, all editions (Kindle, paperback and large print) should ALL be launched and available on December 1st 2019. And yes, what we had to cope with in Bahrain is every teacher’s nightmare, I imagine, haha. 🙁

  • Hi Vicky, I have just finished Two Old Fools Down Under. Really enjoyed it. Hope that Joe is continuing to improve. Sounds like a great life but very stressful at times! Jackie.

  • What a splendid series of books thank you!
    So glad Joe got to join you in Oz . Did he have any trouble with his Visa due to health restraints?

  • Why can’t I find CD’s anywhere? I want to buy them as a gift and she can only do CD’s

  • Hi,
    I love your books and have been reading them on my kindle. I also LOVE real books and wanted to buy your set for my book shelf, but I can’t seem to find them in print as a set?? Do you know where I can purchase your books as print editions?
    My husband and I own chickens and your hilarious stories about yours really hit home..

    • Hello Pat, what a lovely message to get, thank you! I’m delighted you have been enjoying the books. You don’t say where you live in the world, but ALL my books are available from Amazon as “real” books, haha! Just put my name (watch spelling) in Amazon’s search box and they should pop up. Make sure you click Books, not Kindle.

      Thank you for asking!

  • Hi Victoria, thank you so much for my two free books. I have started reading TWO OLD FOOLS and just love it, being one myself…I spent many years in \spain when my son and family were there and can identify it all, wonderful, I also lived in Australia for four years many years ago, and can identify with that also…..When can I expect my first newsletter???I tried to get the Australian one but each time I clicked…click here….it said it couldn’t recognize the email address so I still haven’t got it….By the way I also live in Dorset…I do hope I can get to receive the newsletter I will be so disappointed if I can’t get it.

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One Young Fool in Dorset One Young Fool in South Africa